Ed Koch was 88 years old, twenty years older than my age, when he died a few days ago. A trailer for the documentary "Koch" features his voice in the background as a plane glides over a New York brilliantly lit up in the night sky, a voice joking, "This belongs to me."
In a way it does.
Memory is the greatest bank in our world , and Koch's memories of New York are as much his "belongings" as the very city itself those memories mirror.
"Mirror is the wrong word. The city is a lens through which Koch sees what become his memories.
I feel the same way about my own heritage as I grow older: New Haven and Yale belong to me in a way they can be nobody else's; they are a constantly self- adjusting lens through which I see the world.
Creating The Anti-Yale blog and posting on The Yale Daily News are both ways of sharing with others what belongs to me: The almost seven decade Yale/New Haven vantage point through which I see the world.
One other thing.
Koch's hubris in saying "This belongs to me " is no hubris at all.
Consciousness is the greatest real-estate agent in the world. Every moment we are conscious we "purchase" what we see, hear, feel, touch, taste, and smell, a purchase which will appreciate in the bank of our memory in ways we can only guess with passage of time.
This is indeed all mine: This glorious thing called consciousness.
What a gift.